In 2008 Arts & Sciences obtained funding from the Freeman Foundation that allowed intensive discussion of how our academic programs consider and represent Asia in all its aspects. Ultimately that discussion involved more than 35 faculty members from 11 departments and existing programs, all engaged in a collaboration to develop a new academic framework that encompasses the languages and cultures practiced by more than half the world’s population: the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies program. Students also participated in that discussion. We began offering the new concentration and four related minors in the fall of 2011.
Through interdisciplinary coursework and hands-on advising, the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) program hopes to inspire students to cultivate specialized knowledge on a vital region within Asia while exposing them to various cross-regional practices.
“We offer students a broad, interdisciplinary scope, and also a more in-depth specialized area,” said Professor Rachel DiNitto, founding co-director of the Asian Studies Initiative. “By bringing together resources on campus and beyond, the program complements the College’s traditional Euro-American studies and cultivates a non-Western understanding of the wider world.”